Hemp Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil vs. CBD Oil… um, what?!
Many people are surprised to learn that oil extracted from hemp leaves, flowers, and stalks contain CBD whereas oil extracted from hemp seeds does not. So, anything labeled “hemp seed oil” lacks any cannabidiol. Like ZERO, ZILCH, NADA! However, products labeled simply as “hemp oil” may or may not contain CBD. Super confusing. We know…
There exists some marketing deception
This middle ground terminology of “hemp oil” is sometimes exploited by companies who want potential customers to think their products include CBD when they really don’t. It’s also sometimes leveraged by companies that DO include CBD in their products but fear that boldly broadcasting CBD will scare customers away. That doesn’t mean their products aren’t beneficial, though. It seems all types of hemp-derived oils, if sourced and manufactured properly, may offer a myriad of benefits.
To make things even more confusing, CBD oil can be made from marijuana plants, too. The ones that give you that funny, lifted sensation. If you want to learn more about how THC works, check out our CBD vs. THC article. Nonetheless, it’s illegal to sell CBD derived from marijuana plants in nonrecreational or nonmedicinal states even though CBD is the same regardless of its extraction source. Hemp-derived CBD, on the other hand, IS LEGAL at a federal level.
Industrial Hemp aka Cannabis Sativa L. (that’s the super sophisticated name scientists gave the plant) was mandated as a federally legal plant for interstate commerce and trade according to the 2018 Farm Bill. You see, hemp is legal because it contains trace amounts of THC – less than 0.3%. It requires THC concentrations in the 5%+ range to get you high. Because hemp doesn’t get you stoned, the government is kinda chill with it.
How to sort out the differences
Let’s quickly break down the types of CBD products you can buy – assuming they’re exclusively hemp-derived, of course 😉
Isolate: this is when they take out just the CBD. THC-Free
Broad-Spectrum: this is when they take out all the cannabinoids, remove the THC and put them all back together. THC-Free.
Full-Spectrum: this is when they use all the extracts. Since it’s exclusively from hemp, there’s 0.3% THC or less.
Avoid full-spectrum products if you undergo drug testing because it can trigger a positive result. For such individuals, isolate and broad-spectrum products are better options.
The real devil is in the details. And by details, we mean ingredients and Certificates of Analysis (COAs). If you want CBD in your products, look for words like Cannabidiol, CBD, Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract, Hemp Extract, and PhytoCannabinoid Rich (PCR) Hemp Extract on the label’s ingredients.
Ingredient labels may vary but here are a few different examples of how they may appear.
If you want to know precisely how much CBD is in your product, be sure you check its Certificate of Analysis (COA). COAs should give you a breakdown of the precise concentrations of cannabinoids found in each product, among other things. Buyer beware if a brand doesn’t offer access to its COAs or lab tests. Traceability and transparency are invaluable to you as the customer.
Here’s an example of what one looks like…